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Cheyenne’s East High seniors toss their caps in the air marking the end of their high school career during Cheyenne’s East High graduation ceremony Saturday, June 1, 2019, at Okie Blanchard Sports Complex. Gary Gwin/For the Wyoming Tribune Eagle

CHEYENNE – Cheyenne’s East High Class of 2019 comes from a strong foundation.

During the graduation ceremony Saturday, all three student speakers addressed the support and caring that helped the students succeed.

Eric Zastoupil wrote a letter to the senior class, and he read it to his fellow graduates.

In it, he said, “Family has caused me to truly love this building.”

He thanked the teachers for always being caring and supportive, even though “you may have wanted to strangle us and throw us out the window.”

Connor Gilliland, student body president, told the students to remember the friendships they made at East High and to honor how those friendships changed their lives, whether those changes were for better or worse.

Another student speaker, Sam McIntosh, referred to teachers, family and other supporters as “the caretakers of our lives.”

He said, “Let’s pause in appreciation of the caretakers of our school.”

McIntosh took that moment to recognize the work the teachers and staff had done to keep students safe and to teach them strength, along with helping them earn an education.

McIntosh also offered some advice to the graduates, based on the philosophy of Aristotle: “Be excellent.”

He explained that to be excellent, you don’t have to be the best; you only have to be your best.

Boyd Brown, superintendent of Laramie County School District 1, recognized the students who know what they are doing after graduation and those who don’t. He told them it’s OK not to know what they plan to do yet.

And he left them with a quote by Michael Josephson: “Take pride in how far you’ve come, have faith in how far you can go, but don’t forget to enjoy the journey.”

Marguerite Herman, chairwoman of the LCSD1 Board of Trustees, also gave some advice to the Class of 2019.

“In typical fashion of graduation speakers, I am going to focus on your future,” she said.

And she followed that by telling the students to stay curious about all things and to try many new things.

“Challenge yourself to learn a new language or a new skill,” Herman said. “Learn to knit.”

But mostly she stressed two things: Read books and become involved in your community.

She told the graduates to be informed and register to vote. And she encouraged them to serve on boards and run for office.

Herman told them to be lifelong learners throughout all their years after high school.

Zastoupil told the Class of 2019 that they got through all the challenges of high school together, including “the early, early, early mornings” and their common dislike of freshmen.

And as the final speaker before the last of the diplomas were handed out, Zastoupil began the celebrations with his excited shout, “We are finally done!”

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